Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Upside of the Downsize

Oh, I so wish I were talking about my weight!

But back to reality. Today, I had the unpleasant experience of being let go from a position that I dearly loved. Basically, what I do – did, rather – is work in a community connecting people from all kinds of backgrounds who never knew the other existed. Pure bliss and incredibly gratifying since I am happiest when embedded in and connecting people in communities of any kind: gym rats, urban Cincy folks, bird nerds; it pretty much doesn’t matter who, what or where.

When talking to people today about what happened, the question I kept hearing was – Well, I’ll keep my ears open – so, what are you looking for? Huh. Stumped. I’m 38-years-old – aren’t I supposed to know this by now? But – I haven’t really thought about it from my own perspective lately, instead of CareerBuilder's. What am I looking for? It’s sort of refreshing to stop and think about it like that: In a perfect world, what would I do if I could create my own job?

Let’s see: I love to write. I am crazy cuckoo for editing. I adore grammar. I love photography. I am a communicator. I love to help. I want to help. I value humor and honesty. I like asking questions so that I can understand the way things work. I like responsibility (to a fault). I like direction. My family always comes first.

There! My resume in a nutshell: Zealous, experienced potential employee seeks long-term relationship with employer searching for an articulate, inquisitive and creative editor and/or blogger to write about and take pictures of people in communities, and pontificate about the value family and friends. Any takers out there??

So, though I am devastated that I am no longer going to be an integral part of a community that I love, I’m determined to make lemonade from this bunch of really tart lemons. And, to make that lemonade just a little sweeter, I have some extra time to spend with my son, do some real spring cleaning, stalk that elusive Pileated Woodpecker, and blog. It’s the upside to the downsize: time to myself to figure out my place in the world and get a few things checked off my list.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Bird Nerd

I have no idea where my obsession with birds came from. I’ve never been interested in them before. And then last year (or the year before, I can’t remember), I started putting out a feeder and I was simply amazed at all the different types. And my neighbor (who shall remain nameless until I have her permission…) knew all the bird species and went on and on about them. Now, I am not going to say my competitive nature didn’t kick in, but I was a little bit jealous! After all, I’ve spent half my life outdoors – back country trips and hikes, climbing in all sorts of places – yet I couldn’t name a bird. Ok – I could name the Cardinal. But who can’t name the cardinal?!!

I have officially become a bird nerd. Apparently, I am not along in this. As soon as I started mixing my photography with birds, I started getting all sorts of private confessions from friends through email. You’re a bird nerd, too? Oh my gosh – so am I! And it felt kind of good! So I am now a frequent customer of Baker Feed and Seed down in Old Milford (this place is great – best seed variety at the best prices) and when I walk in, the old man who runs the place just sort of smiles at me and asks how many pounds I want this week. I am ashamed to admit I don’t know his name because he kind of intimidates me. He’s one of those old country folk types. I know he knows everything there is about country life, birds, and livestock, and I’m sure he looks at me in my skirts and thinks to himself: Amateur. Reminds me of Curly in City Slickers (RIP Jack Palance).

So to all the secret bird nerds out there, I encourage you to come out of the closet. It’s really fun out here! I can’t tell you how many iPhone apps there are for bird songs, bird identification, how to attract birds (Birds USA is my favorite) – you name it. And when you are lazing on the deck in your skivvies, you can pass it off as bird watching. Honey, can you get me another Diet Pepsi? I’m watching this Northern Flicker and I don’t want to make any sudden movements.

Some day, I will confess about my obsession with tea pots. They are not as interesting to photograph, but beautiful nonetheless.